[Resource Topic] 2023/031: Sassafras and Semi-Anonymous Single Leader Election

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Sassafras and Semi-Anonymous Single Leader Election

Authors: Jeffrey Burdges, Handan Kılınç Alper, Alistair Stewart, Sergey Vasilyev


A single-leader election (SLE) is a way to elect one leader randomly among the parties in a distributed system. If the leader is secret (i.e., unpredictable) then it is called a secret single leader election (SSLE). In this paper, we model the security of SLE in the universally composable (UC) model. Our model is adaptable to various unpredictability levels for leaders that an SLE aims to provide. We construct an SLE protocol that we call semi-anonymous single leader election (SASLE). We show that SASLE is secure against adaptive adversaries in the UC model. SASLE provides a good amount of unpredictability level to most of the honest leaders while it does not provide unpredictability to the rest of them. In this way, we obtain better communication overhead by comparing the existing SSLE protocols. In the end, we construct a PoS-protocol (Sassafras) which deploys SASLE to elect the block producers. Sassafras benefits from the efficiency of SASLE and gains significant security both to grinding attacks and the private attack as shown by Azouvi and Cappelletti (ACM AFT 2021) because it elects a single block producer.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2023/031

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